Woman banking online from home.

12 Best Online Banks Of 2021

Sarah Li Cain5-minute read
October 31, 2022

As you’re doing research for the best online banks, you’ll find that there are a lot of benefits and features to choose from. One of the main benefits is that you can do most of your banking on the go, either online, through their mobile apps or at the ATM. Some even have 24/7 customer service so you can get your questions and concerns addressed no matter your schedule.

We’ve compiled the top online banks in the hopes it’ll help you narrow down your choices.

Best Online Banks Overall

Factors we considered when creating this list includes available technology, customer service availability, interest rates, and types of accounts like savings, money market, CDs and checking accounts.

Chase Bank

Chase is one of the largest banks with many branches and state of the art technology for your banking needs, whether you’re logging in online or through their mobile app. While they do charge monthly maintenance fees, you can waive them by maintaining a monthly minimum balance or making qualifying direct deposit payments. This bank also offers one of the best signup bonuses out there — we’re talking about hundreds of dollars as long as you meet their requirements.

Other features include:

  • In-person, mobile and online banking

  • Wide range of account options

  • Some accounts waive ATM fees

Ally Bank

Ally Bank is one of the most popular online banks because it offers one of the best online bank rates overall for most of their accounts. Plus, it’s easy to open multiple accounts and there are no monthly maintenance fees or account minimums.

Although there are no-in person branches, you can contact a representative 24/7 via live chat or phone.

Best Online Banks For Savings Accounts

Opening a high-yield savings account is an important step in achieving your personal finance goals — it’s a great way to earn some money in interest while having access to your cash at a moment’s notice.

Marcus By Goldman Sachs

Those who are looking for a simple savings account may be a good fit for Marcus. While you can’t access your money through a free ATM network, you can make online transfers easily after logging into your account online or via the mobile app. Their interest rate is higher than the national average and there are no minimum amounts to worry about. Plus, Marcus doesn’t charge the usual fees like monthly or overdraft fees.

Capital One

Those who want to set aside a lot of cash in a savings account might like Capital One, which offers some of the highest interest rates for their savings money market and CD accounts. You won’t be required to have a minimum balance amount to open an account, and there are no monthly maintenance fees. Plus, for qualifying individuals, Capital One doesn’t charge ATM fees.

Best Online Banks For Checking Accounts

Opening a checking account keeps your money safe and easily accessible. Some banks offer checking account bonuses and promotions which provides further incentive to go with a particular bank.

Discover Bank

Though best known for their credit cards, Discover Bank offers some great perks including no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. If you’re not bothered about having a bank with brick and mortar locations, this one is a good choice.

Here are some notable features:

  • Their rewards checking account offers 1% cash back on qualifying debit card transactions (up to $3,000 each month)

  • No overdraft charges

  • Large network of ATMs all over the U.S.

  • 24/7 customer service online, or phone

Chime Bank

Chime is an online bank and account holders use their app to do most of their banking. There are no fees and you also get a free debit card. The app is not only intuitive, but there are plenty of features that make this bank a great choice, including:

  • Receiving direct deposits up to 2 days earlier

  • Savings feature where your purchases will be rounded up to the next dollar and transferred to a separate savings account

  • Use the SpotMe feature where you can overdraw up to $100 without being charged a fee

Best Online Banks For Travelers

If you travel regularly, choosing a bank with low wire transfer charges, ATM fees and good currency conversion rates will help you save money on bank fees.

Charles Schwab

Another financial institution known mostly for its investing platform, Charles Schwab offers some great perks such as no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements on their checking or savings accounts. Travelers will love that there are unlimited ATM fee rebates on machines worldwide. Although the interest rate may be lower than other online banks, it may be worth opening a savings or checking account for the ATM fee reimbursement benefits alone.

Citibank

If you need to send money overseas regularly, Citibank offers one of the best ways to do so. It’s simple through their Citibank Global Transfers service, and international transfers are free for other Citi accounts across the globe.

Best Online Banks For Students

Students will likely need features like lower minimum deposit requirements, no maintenance fees, and lenient overdraft policies. Here are some of our top choices for student accounts.

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank is a great choice if you want to do both online and banking in person. This bank offers a campus banking program called the U.S. Bank Student Checking Account. Account holders at qualifying campuses can link their student ID with their checking account — use the ID card with your checking account at ATMs as well as debit card purchases.

If you don’t attend one of the schools in their campus banking program, you can still open an account. You can access online and mobile banking, free U.S. Bank ATMs and mobile check deposit. For out of network ATMs, you’ll get your first four fees reimbursed each month.

Bank of America

Bank of America offers some of the most up-to-date technology and there are no monthly maintenance fees for students under 24 years old. There is a low minimum opening deposit — either $25 or $100 — but otherwise there are no minimums afterwards.

Other features include:

  • Keep the Change® program – your debit card purchases are rounded up to the next dollar and deposited into a saving account

  • Customizable account alerts via text message or email

Best Online Banks With ATM Fee Rebates

ATM fees can add up quick. Finding an online bank that offers ATM reimbursement or won’t charge you out-of-network fees can make all the difference.

Radius Bank

Radius Bank offers a few checking accounts that don’t charge ATM fees, including ones at out-of-network ATMs. Plus, you get unlimited ATM fee reimbursements from any third-party ATMs worldwide. You will, however, be charged a foreign transaction fee if you use your card overseas.

Axos Bank

Three checking accounts — Rewards Checking, CashBack Checking and Essential Checking — offer no fees for any ATM in the U.S. and reimburse fees from third-party machines. Other accounts also reimburse ATM fees but there may be limits as to how many are allowed each month.

The Bottom Line

Choosing the right bank for you can mean fewer fees, better customer service and finding the right type of account based on the amount of access you need to your cash. Of course, banking is only one aspect of your personal finances, so check out our Learning Center to see how you can increase your financial health.

Sarah Li Cain

Sarah Li Cain is a freelance personal finance, credit and real estate writer who works with Fintech startups and Fortune 500 financial services companies to educate consumers through her writing. She’s also a candidate for the Accredited Financial Counselor designation and the host of Beyond The Dollar, where she and her guests have deep and honest conversations on how money affects our well-being.